Business, workplace and economy
Learn how to register your business, apply for funding and tax credits, and get free help to start your business.
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Building our economy
Find out how we’re building our economy with good-paying jobs and investments in electric vehicles, tech and manufacturing.
Start and run a business
Start a business
Learn how to:
- choose your business structure
- register your business name in Ontario
- set up an Ontario business number for business tax purposes
Get a custom guide
Answer a few simple questions and get a downloadable custom guide to starting your business. For example:
- business registration
- getting an HST number
- setting up payroll and benefits
- permits, licensing and insurance
We’re helping Ontario businesses grow and saving people time and money.
Ontario has a number of funds available for business and not-for-profit entrepreneurs. Depending on the type of business or not-for-profit you want to run, you may be eligible for programs and funding:
- Indigenous economic development
- Start a summer business: students
- Advice, support and grant opportunities for small businesses
- Starter Company Plus
- Financing, mentoring and support for aspiring business owners aged 18–39
- Employee training
- Digital Main Street for bricks-and-mortar businesses seeking to go digital
- Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs
- Digitalization Competence Centre to help businesses adopt digital tools into their operations
View a full list of funding opportunities available to businesses and not-for-profits.
Permit and licences
Find out what permits and licences are required for your business, based on your location, industry and business activities.
Workplace rules and regulations
Understand your obligations as a business owner, and the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees in Ontario.
Learn the rules about minimum wage, hours of work limits, termination of employment, job-protected leaves of absence and more.
Learn about everyone’s rights and duties in the workplace, and how to deal with workplace hazards.
Learn about small business health and safety responsibilities and how to get help keeping your workplace safe.
Before starting specialized work (work that involves a trench, window cleaning, tunnelling, asbestos removal or diving) you must file a work notice to protect the health and safety of your workers.
Laws and standards are in place to make Ontario more inclusive for everyone.
Learn how to comply with consumer protection laws and avoid consumer complaints.
Learn about the different types of environmental permissions you or your business may need and how to apply for each.
Businesses with animals (excluding wildlife) on the premises must comply with the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act.
Learn how to get what you need to operate commercial vehicles, such as trucks or buses.
Learn more about Ontario’s Building Code so your business can meet all required building regulations in Ontario.
In order to file business taxes and deduct payroll, you need a Business Number (BN). If you don’t have one already, learn how you can get a Business Number.
List of Ontario taxes
Learn about the different taxes that apply in Ontario, including corporations tax.
Harmonized Sales Tax
Learn more about the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), see what items are subject to a point-of-sale rebate, and claim a rebate.
Employer Health Tax
You may have to pay the Employer Health Tax (EHT) if you have employees. Find out if you have to register for the EHT.
File taxes for free
Manage your tax account, returns, payments, and refunds for free online at ONT-TAXS.
Tax credits and refunds
Explore different Ontario tax credits that your business can claim.
Export and trade
Grow your business by selling products outside Ontario and Canada.
Search upcoming international trade programs and events by sector and market region. Find trade missions, exhibitions, seminars, and workshops for Ontario businesses looking to export outside Canada.
Explore resources to help grow your exporting business such as market research, funding support, and insurance.
Access the Indigenous business development toolkit for support on starting and expanding your business. In the toolkit, you can find:
- a list of Indigenous financial institutions that can help you plan your business
- instructions on how to bid on government contracts that benefit Indigenous people and communities
For practical advice, case studies and economic development resources to boost the local economy in your community, read the First Nations community economic development guide.
Close a business
Learn about how to close a business including succession planning, selling a business, closing accounts, and declaring bankruptcy.
Free legal advice
Pro Bono Ontario provides free legal advice to small business owners over the phone.
Call toll-free within Ontario:
Talk to a business consultant at Invest Ontario for your investment needs.
Technology and innovation centres
Visit a Regional Innovation Centre for programming and services to grow your innovation and technology company.
Join the “Ontario Made” program
Register as a manufacturer or retailer with Ontario Made. You’ll be listed on their business directory and get access to promotional materials, such as the “Ontario Made” logo.
Find a Small Business Enterprise Centre near you
They provide advisory services and workshops that equip businesses with foundational entrepreneurship skills and continuing supports, including training, mentorship and grant opportunities.
See a full list of locations.
Help us better serve entrepreneurs and businesses
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